Wonder Woman in Rome #2

Wonder Woman was created by Dr William Moulton Marston in 1941 and is the © copyright trademark of DC Comics. My Wonder Woman stories are only fan fiction and based, primarily, on the 1970s CBS TV show (albeit, updated to the present time of writing). However, any resources from adaptations and the comics may be utilised. All characters are entirely fictional. With the exception of Diana / Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor, the story and characters are my own creation, unless otherwise stated. In my stories there are no other superheroes in the world, except for Wonder Woman. 

02 When in Vatican City

At just gone 7am Princess Rosetta requested Diana Prince to the hotel's aerobic gymnasium. On her arrival, the princess was judo sparring with her lady-in-waiting.

Rosetta was a short, tanned, brunette with high cheek bones and beaming blue eyes; she really was a beautiful princess. However, it was Serena Rocca who caught Diana's eye with her tall imposing physique, displaying bristling biceps in her sleeveless vest. She had short dirty blonde hair that made her all the more masculine; as did her the low Austrian tone.

The lady-in-waiting glanced across to Diana standing in the doorway. Princess Rosetta swept her Lady's foot away from beneath her, sending Serena, firmly, on the canvass.

Diana coughed, “You sent for me, Your Highness?”

“I did, indeed, Miss Diana Prince of the American IADC,” Rosetta freshly replied, “I'm looking for somebody who can rival me at judo. Do you think you might be that person?”

“Err... I shall give it a try,” said Diana, gamely.

She slipped off her dark heels and jacket. Serena handed over a judo blazer and belt. “Make sure you lose,” she whispered in Diana's ear.

The two princesses squared up to one another. Rosetta seemed thrilled at the prospect of sparring with Diana.

“I want you to know, I hold no malice towards you for trying to seduce my fiancé, yesterday,” she stated.

With that Rosetta grabbed Diana's collar and hulled her around her tiny waist. Diana went with the flow to the floor.

The proud pint sized princess was peering over her, “But take this as your formal warning. Any further attempt to ingratiate yourself with my fiancé will be met with the full force of my powers. Do I make myself clear?”

Unimpressed with the princess' warning, Diana got to her feet with a stoic expression, “I have been assigned to protect your fiancé. You can expect nothing but professionalism from me, Your Highness.”

The two women locked horns, once again. At the first opportunity Diana threw Rosetta over her right shoulder, landing her gently on the mat.

“Ouch!” the princess cried, “You cheated! You used your specialist training against me!”

“That was called a tiatoshi,” Diana insisted, “It's a basic Judo throw.”

“That's enough!” Serena intervened. “You are dismissed for your insolence, Miss Prince. Go back to your quarters until we leave for the Vatican.”

“With pleasure,” Diana smiled, unrepentantly.

The royal convoy to the Vatican consisted of a police motorbike up ahead, clearing the traffic; the royal limousine was flanked front and back by police Lamborghini's. Diana kept her black Corvette ZX1 well back in her unofficial, official capacity.

The Corvette was equipped with some sophisticated surveillance, such as the six exterior spy cameras that could view any angle; although most impressive was the satellite beaming panoramic views of the surrounding area from space. On the monitor, inside her car, Diana could see over the great wall that divided Vatican City from the rest of Rome. Beyond that, the distinctive yellow and blue uniforms of the Swiss Guards, whom protect Vatican City, had dispersed into the trees.

“They’re hunting an intruder,” deduced Diana.

The security alert at the checkpoint entry to the Vatican rushed the royal convoy through. However, two vehicles were missing; each with more pressing priorities.

The glistening golden figure of Wonder Woman sparkled in sunshine, as she stood on top of the Vatican's southern wall surveying the scene below. The Amazon princess chose to enter such sacred grounds with caution; partly because Christians have considered Wonder Woman as a mixed blessing since her entry into World War II; she was also not keen to advertise Wonder Woman's whereabouts. She dropped down on to a thick tree branch and peered through the woods where she heard whispering. Her sensitive ears detected a low voice speaking through a cell phone.

“I'm sixty seconds away. Commence now,” the voice instructed.

Machine gun fire began immediately after from within the woods. Up on her high vantage point, Wonder Woman could see the Swiss Guards retaliating with pistol fire as they ran for the cover of their vehicles. At the same time, a fast moving buggy scrambled off the road. It halted with a shudder at the edge of woods, and a familiar figure - this time in dressed head-to-toe in white Lycra with red stripes down her sides and a matching motorcycle crash helmet – stepped out.

“The Lost Siren is found again,” Diana mused, “Somehow, I was expecting her presence.”

However, a presence of another kind alerted Wonder Woman as she dropped effortlessly to the ground. She stood under the cover of the orchards watching the gunman clearly visible in the stripy suns rays glaring down between the cedar tree branches. She had cause to believe the sound of the undergrowth being crushed underfoot, to her left, was the Lost Siren: so who, then, was to her right?

Wonder Woman pulled away a hanging branch to reveal a small clearing with a tomb built against the city wall. There, a tall man, wearing the traditional robes of a cardinal, leaned against one of the tomb's pillars, as if in deep meditation.

“Excuse me, cardinal, you need to leave here. You could be in danger.”

The cardinal looked up. He had beady snake-like eyes and a large rodent's snout of a nose, but spoke in the most elegant English tone: “Wonder Woman, I assume. I'm sure nobody else would have the skill, or audacity, to illegally enter Vatican City dressed in such questionable attire.”

Wonder Woman placed her hands firmly on her shapely hips, almost defensively, “Yes, I'm Wonder Woman and you are Cardinal who?”

“Mendo is the name, Cardinal Mendo,” he answered.

They shook hands. The cardinal's hand was lukewarm with bristly deformed bones, indicative of somebody suffering from a rheumatic illness.

“Great to meet you, Cardinal Mendo, now I really do think I should get you out of harm's way,” urged Wonder Woman.

“You mean from the gunman in the woods?” he asked, rhetorically.

“I doubt we're in any real danger. Let the Swiss Guards see to him - they need the practice.”

Diana sighed, “Cardinal, I don't think we can be so blasé, he's heavily armed.”

Mendo sat down on the steps of the tomb, “Yes, these peashooters have such little imagination when it comes to murder - not like you at all, Wonder Woman - you really know how to kill with panache.”

“You're badly informed, Cardinal,” Diana retorted, sternly, “My mission has always been to protect life.”

The cardinal looked up at the powerful heroine stood before him, “Oh, come along, my dear, you're too modest,” he said, “Karen Harris was a masterpiece. Making her jump from the Eiffel Tower, and explode into ashes on the way down, was inspired – almost as poetic as it was subversive – a death and cremation in one fowl swoop. And don't try to tell me all that carnage in London, last year, wasn't anything to do with your activities there.”

If he hadn't been a man of the cloth, Diana could have struck him there and then. The pain of losing Karen Harris (see Wonder Woman in Paris) was still raw. How the cardinal knew about the agent's death was puzzling. Something wasn't right, but Diana played it cool.

“How did you know about Karen Harris?” she asked, thoughtfully.

“Well, I get it all from the newspapers. You're hardly discrete, are you? If I had been in your position with such a violent blood thirst to quench, I'd go undercover, not dress like an Amazon on a fashion parade. But I suppose we all have our kinks, one way or another.”

“And is that what you are doing here now, Mendo, working undercover?” Wonder Woman asked, “I mean, you really are a cardinal?”

Just at that moment, the sound of a woman shouting, "Don't shoot," could be heard from outisde the woods.

“I have to go,” Wonder Woman said.

“I thought you might, but don't worry I'm not going anyway,” replied Mendo.

Back on a high tree branch, Wonder Woman could see the Lost Siren dragging a limp gunman from the woods and surrender him to the Swiss Guards. There was nothing more that could be done, so Diana returned to the clearing, only to find the cardinal gone. She stood on the step of tomb and pondered the epitaph. It read: “HERE LIES THE PRINCE WITH MANY NAMES.”

For Part 3 Click Here

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